Reza Pahlavi's Open Letter in Washington Post


Darius Kadivar
by Darius Kadivar


Below is the latest Open Letter written by the Former Crown Prince of Iran Reza Pahlavi in the Washington Post yesterday in which he outlines his vision and hopes for a democratic and bloodless transition to the current theocracy. I am not a spokesman of Reza Pahlavi but simply submitting the news to your sagacity. I leave the pertinence and/or interpretation of this publication to your own judgment.


Reza Pahlavi: Leadership for Democracy in Iran For almost three decades, Reza Pahlavi has been a strong voice for freedom and democracy the world over. Now, with the support of freedom seekers around the world, he is ready to lead an international effort for a new era in his native country.

A letter to the World

The recent parliamentary election in Iran, and, for that matter, all previous elections, have been a travesty, a sad farce, with the ruling government again making promises it cannot fulfill. During 28 years of involvement as a secular democrat, I have watched with sorrow the political and economic catastrophes that have destroyed the hopes and lives of the Iranian people. I have been fortunate through these years to be living in freedom; but still, my heart and my roots are in Iran.

Others have not been so fortunate. More than two-thirds of the population of Iran are under the age of 30. That means they have spent all their lives, so far, under the oppressive rule that began in 1979 when Ayatollah Khomeini and his Islamic extremists seized control. They have not known the prosperity and security enjoyed by many children living in the free world; instead, they have endured poverty and fear.

Iran’s youth demand a new vision

This is a generation that is longing for change. The youth of Iran grow increasingly frustrated and rebellious under an antiquated clerical system that invades every aspect of their lives. They are denied opportunity while the government funds murderous terrorist activities and squanders billions on issues that have no relevance to the interests and prosperity of the Iranian people. Furthermore, in today’s era of globalization, they are increasingly alarmed at the isolation of Iran from the international community.

Young Iranians are not alone in their demand for fundamental change. Joining them are human rights crusaders, women who have lost their freedom under the ruling cleric, religious minorities and ethnic communities treated as second-class citizens or worse, academics denied intellectual freedom, labor leaders unable to speak for workers’ rights as they should, and news media muzzled or shut down.

This frustration, this anger, can be harnessed as a positive, unstoppable force, a wave that brings about change in Iran. With the support of the international community, a new era can begin in this ancient, much loved country-a country full of promise and great potential.

I am not talking about a violent revolution; I am talking about a collective will of the people, similar to what we have witnessed in India, Poland, South Africa, Ukraine, and many of the former USSR states. Call it a velvet revolution or an orange revolution-Whatever the term, the goal is for a peaceful democratic conversion.

Longing to see freedom thrive

When I left Iran in 1978, I had the opportunity of completing my pilot’s training in the United States Air Force, completing my education at the University of Southern California, and forming and raising a family in the United States. My experiences of life in America and other democratic nations have given me a deep appreciation for and dedication to the values of freedom and democracy. But my emotions, like those of many Iranians around the globe, remain tied to our ancient homeland. We long to see freedom thrive there again and dream of the day we can finally return home.

Our goal is nothing less than respect and dignity for all Iranians, observance of human rights for all citizens, programs to address critical social and economic problems, and harmonious, peaceful relations with Middle Eastern neighbors, the West, and the broader international community.

A symbol of this will be the restoration of the true colors of Iran-the flag bearing the lion and the sun-a visual declaration for the world that Iran is once and for all a free, open and secular society, with a government truly representing the hopes and aspirations of Iranians today and for future generations.

Therefore, I invite you to join me alongside committed groups in Iran and around the world who share this vision.

Change must come. Change will come. And, as always, I dedicate myself to a future democratic Iran.

Reza Pahlavi


more from Darius Kadivar
Colonel Hemayat

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

by Colonel Hemayat on

Sure they have lots of nice cars but what is the present condition of women rights, and the quality of their universities or the mindset of the average person there?

The only reason their kings have not been toppled like ours is that their kings don't give a damn about the country and the people and ours did.


Colonel Hemayat

Student Movements

by Colonel Hemayat on

The leaders of student movements;

The Mohammadi brothers are pro-Monarchy

Ahmad Batebi and Amir Abbass fakhravar are pro-Reza Pahlavi whether as a King or a president.

The idea of Iranains rejecting monarchy is lauhable and advertised by those who were responsible for the DISASTER of 1979.

Let the people of Iran decide, if you are so sure people reject Monarchy then why  tear yourself a new A-hole when ever the crowned prince speaks? ;)

the truth is


آريامهر عکس تو را از ديوارها زدوند
تو بر قلب تاريخ ملتت حکاکی شدی!!


The only matter with crowned prince , like his father, the great Mohammad Reza Shah , is that he does not want the blood of the sons of Iran on his conscious, otherwise, many including myself will happily die for him.



To: Q

by Kamangir on

Whether you like it or not the IRI has won itself a reputation that far exceeds anything any other nasty regime around the world has ever gotten. Don't worry much about the 'expatriates' like me plotting againt the pro-IRI sector of Iran once their masters are gone. Don't worry about the expatriates. Worry about the millions of Iranians living in Iran who are waiting to get their hands on the IRI and its entire stablishment. We'll see IRI's fate 'sooner' than later.

Once the IRI is gone, I'm sure we won't hear from smart pro-IRI characters anymore, neither on the web nor on our daily lives.


Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

I told you the whole system is rigged.



Islamist usually

by raindrop (not verified) on

Islamist usually Misrepresent opposing arguments into a suitable angle for attack, which is standard in their line of work.

Makes them feel good because they have owned the discourse for so long and they are not ready to give up.


Wake up!!!

by Joojekabob (not verified) on

Reza Pahalavi's letter as many have pointed out is trite and unastounding in every respect. And that's after withdrawing a load of cash from his Swiss bank account to pay for a ghostwriter!!!!! It patronizes the Iranian people and just caters to the royalist sheep in the diaspora!!! Face it guys you're out of touch and don't have a clue of the facts on the ground, wake up!!!


Q is the man, I like totally

by Peachy (not verified) on

Q is the man, I like totally love you Q...please have my baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Kaveh and Kamangir

by Q on

Nouraee: I asked you to explain the voting pattern, but you are not answering. I'm not saying they should just take what they are offered, but a sizable majority are doing this. What said was that if they seriously want to change the regime, they have the will and the capacity to do it. I do have faith in the Iranian people. I have faith that they are smart enough to know what they want and how to get it. Do you have that faith?

Kamangir: You are funny. They would be riding Camels? You mean like the German-made Camels that people currently ride in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait? It would be nice if Iranians don't actively contribute to orientalist rhetoric. Asking you to help reverse it would be too much right now, but at least you can stop yourself from perpetuating the mindset, couldn't you?

I love how you say "once IRI is gone, we will be fair." Just like that you made yourself the King of Iran huh? Or you pretend you are somehow speaking on behalf of Iran? What a healthy ego!

It seems a lot of expatriate Iranians spend a lot of time plotting and scheming about how to punish "IRI supporters" once their access to "paradise" is restored. Did you even stop and think that this may just be the kind of hateful "revenge" mindset that people in Iran recognize and reject in the so-called "Iranian opposition?"


Cars instead of camels!

by Kamangir on

It's ludicrous to compare the Pahlevi regime to the IRI. That's like comparing shaghighe and gooz (being gooz, the IRI, of course!)

To those who believed they carried out a 'real' revolution. What happened to it? Why have millions of Iranians left their country behind? was this the purpose of your 'grandious' revolution? You dumb-asses!

As far as the Pahlavis is concerned, if it wasn't because of them, you would be riding on camels instead of cars.  The Iranian women owe them the fact that the're not wearing 'burkas' or 'neghabs', although at this pace, you never now.

To all those pro-IRI characters, once you stinking IRI regime is gonne, there were still be plenty of oportunities for you in Iran, we will be fair. Our government buildings and premises will need garabage collectors, toilet cleaners, etc.....who  better than you to do these jobs?

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

I'm not spinning it. I'm simply calling it as I see it. Voting in an election process that has already been rigged and manipulated and corrupted from the outset negates the entire concept of voting. You think I believe Iranians to be stupid, which I don't, but your statements indicate that they should just settle with what they're offered. That's not an election; it's an insultng farce. That's not stupidity. That's oppression.

How can people in Iran know what to reject or accept if they're prohibited or otherwise restricted from having a choice, or having their voice be heard? You and I both know they see only what they are allowed to see. If the criminal IRI has nothing to fear, then why don't they allow truly open elections?

These mollahs are on a power trip, and they're using Iran's main resource as their ATM machine. Many Iranians are not fully aware of it or aware of its extent. And the IRI will go to any lengths to maintain the status quo. THAT's the reason nothing's changed yet.



by Alam (not verified) on

This is great news! I'm behind you all the way! So is everyone I know. He stands for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. And that is the reason I stand with him...proudly.



allow me to translate this open letter

by jalili (not verified) on

"Oh crap, Bush is out in 8 months!"


Saltanat talabs have it backwards

by Q on

It is they who can't get passed his name and his heritage. They can call themselves Monarchist or assorted pseudo-Monarchists (names they have invented to sound more democratic, since that's what's "in" now), but at the end of the day, they just worship the name and the dynasty. They have constructed a fantasy paradise of what Iran used to be under Pahlavis and think they can get it back with no sacrifice. Worst-yet, they have no idea it never existed to begin with.

anonymous8: I agree with you completely. Forget the name, what has this man actually accomplished? Michael Jackson may have more name recognition, but that's not nearly enough for a respected leader.

Nouraee: You can spin it however you want. People in Iran, even under these conditions still have a vote and have real elections. You can say that candidates have been disqualified, but what prevents people for voting for the one who is the closest to what they want? For example, why didn't Mostafa Moin win in 2005? Or for that matter, why do people vote at all?

Unfortunately, I think that you do think Iranians are stupid. This is betrayed by your own words: "Iranians in Iran and in the diaspora truly don't know what they have rejected or accepted." This is terribly convinient for someone like yourself to come tell Iranians what they have rejected and accepted. This is a mentality that says Iranians are too stupid to understand what's really going on.

As I have always said. If even 15% of Iranians seriously wanted this regime to be overthrown it would have happened already. Iranians don't need instructions or Washington Post essays on how to rebel. If they see a better alternative consistent with their values they will move toward it. Impatient and frankly-ignorant expatriates who don't have to risk anything themselves are always bitching and philosophizing about why Iranians haven't revolted by now. When I say "risk", I'm not talking about IRI, although the state fighting for survival is always dangerous. I am talking about the lack of a credible alternative, an alternative that won't turn Iran into the chaos of Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is therefore not at all surprising that many have chosen to work within the system for change rather than overthrow the system in a bloody revolution. I know people don't like to hear it, but that is also a perfectly logical explanation. An explanation that simply does not match the extreme right-wing, islamaphobic ideologies of the Tehrangelesi community.


Kaveh Nouraie: Excellent! If

by Anonymous11 (not verified) on

Kaveh Nouraie: Excellent!

If the Islamic Republic was so popular then why are they so afraid of Free election with full participation of opposition parties even those who don't believe in the Islamic Gov't?

After all wasn't democracy the purpose of the "Iranian revolution"?

Also, back then noone knew what the heck was "Jomhooriyeh Islami".

Iranians having lived under secular government for more than a few decades had forgotten or did not know what kind of Islam they were dealing with. KHomeini also lied through his teeth and deceived many into thinking that Islam meant democracy. He said "hejab is not mandatory", "Roohanion will not participate in Politics" and so many other bold face lies.

Iranians were duped, period.

check out the newspaper clippings where he said, Hejab is not going to be Mandetory:


Reza Palavi firstly, needs

by Anonymousk (not verified) on

Reza Palavi firstly, needs to become a 'man' instead of his mother's little and other 'flies around honey' mouthpiece.

I suggest that his mom and other blood-sucking adults around him leave him alone and let him think for himself. I don't even think he really wants to be a "King"....

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

The fact is, Iranians in Iran and in the diaspora truly don't know what they have rejected or accepted, as there is a complete absence of transparency in the way the IRI deals with the people.

When you have a ruling criminal element that is dictating who can and who cannot be a candidate for public office solely on the basis of what one individual deems to be acceptable for a nation of 70 million plus, you have what amounts to collectively jerking off the country. The criteria for candidacy changes with the direction of the wind. The result is either 70 million people are fatally stupid, or they are completely oppressed and do not have real freedom. I am one of those who choose the latter.

Now, you mentioned that any pro-democracy movement, including those under Khatami, have always rejected Pahavis and monarchy. It goes without saying that anything Khatami is tied to would reject a monarchy and the Pahlavis. You're not offering anything new.

But I don't see how he is setting anything back, unless you are one of the people who cannot get past his last name. Reza Pahlavi is not offering anything new, either, so don't get the idea that I'm endorsing the guy. He's a double edged sword: He has the name recognition that allows him to be heard by non-Iranians as an advocate of what Iranians truly want: a real government with real freedom. The flip-side is that he has the name recognition that stirs up all of this infighting among Iranians, which is ultimately counter-productive.

Maybe no one wants Reza Pahavi in any kind of leadership role, and maybe he doesn't want it either. But he hasn't been talking about that. Right now it's about exposing this sham government for what it is.

We have always had a monarchy. All they did was replace Shah's crown with a turban.


it isn't just the name, its the institution of monarchy

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

Iranians have rejected it, that is a simple fact. There are students and other people rotting in Evin and other places for risks they took in promoting change, but no one takes any risk for this guy. Any pro-democracy movement in Iran, even the student-initiated ones under Khatami have always rejected both Pahlavis and Monarchy.

Show me one serious pro-democracy group, legal or illegal, operating inside Iran who is even OPEN to the possibility of Reza Jr. being any kind of "leader" in Iran. Why should they? Are leadership qualities supposed to be hereditary? Or has this clown actually ACCOMPLISHED something we don't yet know about ?

Everytime he opens his mouth he sets back REAL democracy another 5-10 years.

Nobody wants him and nobody wants to be associated with him.

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

I describe his last name as baggage, as there are so many narrow-minded people who cannot get past that particular detail.

I am sure that you understand what I mean after reading the posts from these MEK and IRI loving vatanforoosh Arab-parasts.



Colonel Hemayat

by alimostofi on

Va Dorood bar Shoma

Ali Mostofi


Colonel Hemayat

Ali Mostofi

by Colonel Hemayat on

Doorod bar shoma.

Colonel Hemayat


by Colonel Hemayat on

Crowned Prince Reza Pahlavi, is the only leader amongst the opposition who cares only for Iran, he has stated many times he does not care about his throne and crown (Which are his) and he is against any military action agianst Iran, he is truly a democrat leader.

My friend, his last name is not a baggege but a trade mark for serving and loving Iran and Iranians.


Javid Saltanat Pahlavi.



This was good for Shahis

by Alborzi (not verified) on

He has as much credibility in Iran as Kholl. He would do a patriotic task if he publishes pictures of the wife, he will definitely get a better reception. He could also go visit the Ghassemloo in Kurdistan. But then again if they had some brain they would not be writing to Washington Post. The picture is better.


Ahmad Chalabi was also published in US newspapers

by Q on


As the Bush administration moves forward to develop its policy toward Iraq, our message is clear: Toppling the dictator is a viable, practical option, not a suffering people's distant dream. Saddam today is vulnerable. Life in Iraq is a saga of daily acts of resistance, large or small, armed or passive. In Iraqi Kurdistan in the north, Saddam's authority is weak, extending only to intelligence operatives and paid agents. Southern Iraq is in a state of latent revolution, punctuated by increasing armed rebellion against the regime. Even in Baghdad and central Iraq, Saddam is continuously challenged, and his security forces are only able to suppress, not pre-empt, frequent and large-scale uprisings against his authority.

The INC can be the leading element in overthrowing the regime, and establishing a popular, democratically elected government in Iraq.


from: We can Topple Saddam, by Ahmad Chalabi



Saddam never had any legitimate claim on the government of Iraq. He exacts obedience through terror and bribery. The destruction of his apparatus of repression will also destroy his ability to control the country. The united opposition can effectively claim legitimacy through its promise of free elections and a constitution. Anyone from Saddam's entourage who succeeds in overthrowing him, by contrast, will find himself unable to sustain himself in power over the wasteland that Iraq will be.

The five main components of the opposition in Iraq (Islamicist, Kurdish nationalist, democratic, communist and Arab nationalist) jointly issued a manifesto on Dec. 27, and formed an action committee to pursue the manifesto's implementation. It calls for the overthrow of dictatorship in Iraq, the creation of a parliamentary constitutional regime and the peaceful transfer of power through the ballot box. It also calls for the establishment of democratic freedoms and the protection of human rights in Iraq. This is to be achieved through the formation of a broadly based, representative provisional government that will guarantee the free election of a constituent assembly to draft a constitution.

The manifesto represents an important moment in the political history of Iraq. The signatories have agreed to place the democratic and constitutional values of individual freedom and human rights above their contending ideologies. All the components of the opposition have come to understand that none of them can impose their ideology in Iraq.


From: A democratic future for Iraq, by Ahmad Chalabi 




by maziar58 (not verified) on

merci Mr. kamangir.


What we are used to these days in Iran

by Abarmard on

Harf va sho'ar, Talk and slogans are plenty in today's Iran.

Kaveh Nouraee

This letter is a good start....

by Kaveh Nouraee on

It's good that he has written this letter, and the fact that he has published this in the Washington Post, in a market where there is a significant and very affluent Iranian population, will prove to be a good decision.

What's working against him, of course is all of the heavy baggage he's carrying. Simply by virtue of his last name, he's perceived as damaged goods. Maybe he is, maybe not. Who really knows?

But consider the alternatives: the MEK or the IRI. If you take the "K" of the first group and add that to the beginning of the IRI, you will see what both of those truly are.

Considering what we have to work with (or don't have) to work with, I think he deserves every benefit of the doubt. Baggage or not, he represents probably the best chance for Iran to be saved.


He's the representative!

by Kamangir on

Reza Pahlavi, is the only Iranian individual in the opposition that actually has credibility and lots of respect in the international community, (do we Iranians still remember what this means?)

Every time I see him on an interview or paper, I feel someone is representing me as an Iranian.  Without him, we would be left to constantly feel ashamed of the backward 'shepeshoosh' of mullahs and seyeds that should be representing a country somwhere around arabia, and NOT Iran.


he is a good man, may iran

by Anonymous_Flowers (not verified) on

he is a good man, may iran one day be free.


Step in the right direction

by mahmoudg on

His Majesty RP has taken the right approach in letting the world know of his view(s).  It is better to have him represent us that the likes of Goli Ameri who is an agent of the regime she pretends to hate.  May nature bless you Reza and keep up the good work.  We are behind you.


RP, if you are reading this

by alimostofi on

RP, if you are reading this thread, then please expand on the knowledge you have on the non violent resistance that is already taking place in Iran. You should have clearly seen the low turnout or should I say high abstention of Iranians. Why don't you tell the world that in your letter. Why don't you respond to the people who did not vote. You need to address them directly. You need to create a government in exile, with all the most learned Iranians in, all spheres of life, outside Iran. Ask UN to supervise your efforts for a new Iran. There is much more you can do, and I and a lot of people here at IU, can help you. But you need to listen to us. You do not really know the approach. The Royal Institution is under your control, but you are not doing anything. It took me three years to convince you of non violent resistance, and now you talk of "velvet revolution". For goodness sake you are the pretender to the throne, and you use political arguments. The Royal Institution is not a political, religious or commercial entity. It is Nationalistic and cultural. You cannot be a political entity such as a "Secular Democrat". You are the personification of the Royal Institution. What more can I say. You need to learn from some of us here.

(originally posted at

Ali Mostofi